Yesterday, I mentioned that if the energy I have for Reece isn’t used in a positive manner, it could become destructive. Yes, this energy has to go somewhere–right now it goes somewhat towards the blog and somewhat to other areas. Depending on what feelings come forth from it, there can be deep desires to be consumed by it. I don’t want to be consumed by it, which is why I am trying to find a healthy way to channel the energy, to do something positive with it, versus drowning in deep emotions. Deep emotions are important, but I fear that the waters I tread when I am in them may become choppy and take me down. It wouldn’t even take a big wave to do it–just enough of a wave to wash over my head and take me under. And under can look like many different things–but I know that whatever “under” may be it has been strategized about and carefully thought out by the devil himself. Or, as Reece used to say, “The Mean Old Nasty Devil” (the MOND).
I have repeatedly stated that God has covered Reece and us, but for the rest of the post, I’ll speak for myself versus Reece or Terry or any of my family. The Lord has been so good to me in showing me ways he has been supporting us. And truly, I don’t think he is necessarily nearer to me now than he has been at any other time of life. However, much of life’s “noise” has been muted during this last year, which has helped me understand God and his presence in a very different way. Our circumstances have caused us to rely on God. It isn’t about having a strong faith at all and it isn’t about being a “better” Christian. I tried everything I could to figure out a way to fix this–maybe if I pray in a certain way or ask in some special fashion, Reece will get better. I had to yell “uncle” many times to realize there was no path but God. In fact, for me, it is as I mentioned yesterday; it’s about being at a completely weak and broken place. It is the first time in my life I can honestly and purely relate to the apostle Paul when he says:
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-11
There has been no option to muscle my way through this. There is no amount of caffeine, alcohol, retail therapy, self-help books, or motivational speakers to get us to persevere. It is impossible to do without God and self-reliance quite possibly may be the path to personal destruction. It isn’t that I’m intrinsically a weakling–I’ll be the first to admit I am a relatively strong and most certainly stubborn person. I like to win. I like to say I did it all by myself. In fact, I am built this way so well, I’m amazed that God was gracious in allowing me to mess up on my own for the first 32 years of life. I look back to life’s roadmap that has been full of me stubbornly choosing my own course and messing up. My successes are only built on the foundation of the Lord and, truthfully, done in a way that he allowed me to feel like any success I found was of my own volition, when in fact, he was gently (and thankfully) pointing me in the right direction. I feel like it was his way of letting me try my best on my own before he stepped in. He is so parentally compassionate in that way. And I’m sure he knows that there will be many more times in this life I will fail to seek Him first. He knows me so well. No, I’m not weakling, but no matter how strong I am, I am no match for the things of this world or for what we’ve walked or for where we are going.
As much as I feel like the Lord has been covering us, every day I have to make choices to not let Satan “win”. This may sound crazy, but I don’t care. This is the reality for all of us, but again, I’m talking about me here. There are certain points in life where I have been more vulnerable than others. These are low points in my life–when my guard is down, when I’m tired, when I’m seeking comfort. It probably goes without saying, but this is one of those times. Satan is ready to pounce. And again, I’m sure he’s been lurking every day of my life, but I’ve never been as in tune to it as I am right now. For every thing that doesn’t beat us down, he has a tactic try to do so. For every time I thank God for something, he’s ready to take me down with some crappy thought or doubt or attempt to create fear in an effort to abandon God’s promises. It’s not even necessarily obvious things that he seeks to use; it could be mundane things, half-truths, or low feelings. He’ll use anything he can find to try to drag me down. He tries to grab a tiny corner of the page of the day in order to flip the whole thing over with his words/feelings/doubts/fears being the place where the day leaves off. Then, he tries to do it again the next day. I notice it every day. I usually refer to these tactics as “traps”–usually mental traps. Case in point, I will think of a painful memory of Reece–usually one around when Reece was in our home and the grueling routine he–we all–endured. It becomes easy to pick apart the memories and beat myself up over the things I “should have” done. I should have spent more time with him, versus allowing others to help. I should have taken more night shifts with him after the baby was born. I should have done this and I should have done that. If I’m not careful, I am mentally immobilized to do much else with the day–that is if I allow Satan to do his damage and keep the edge on the day. All that energy that I have in my life that has always been and always will be devoted to Reece, that is vulnerable too. It must be channeled into something good; otherwise, it could easily be put toward focusing on all the things that “could have” happened. It could be used to focus on how I feel we were wronged or to keep my head in the hospital and the trauma versus in the hope of the future. It could be channeled into all sorts of bad habits and vices. But that’s not from God. It is only through seeking God’s truth, reading the Word, reading God’s promises, and allowing my understanding of God’s provisions for Reece to wash over the memories of what we experienced that I have the ability to ward off the damage that Satan seeks to bring to my life. And it could be so damaging. So it turns out, the armor of God is the real deal. We actually do need it…at least I do.
Right now, I’m just making it a point to recognize when it’s happening and call it out for what it is. I’m spending a lot of time trying to discern truth from lies. And as our bible study leader said last week, “A half truth is a whole lie.” Amen. But you can be sure that whatever comes out of this in my life, it will be my way of giving the effen MOND the finger. Classy, right? I figure it’s his terminology, so I can use it on him, just so I make myself perfectly clear to him. I hate that guy.
Whatever I end up doing, one thing is for sure; it will not be without praising and thanking God and without professing his deep love for me. And it won’t be without professing his deep love for Reece. I no longer care what others think of my feelings about God. Without God, there would be no more “what next”? There would be no more looking forward. It would always be looking back and longing for things of the past. There would be no more hope and excitement over seeing Reece in the future. Even more so, there would be no more certainty of it. Hope implies the possibility of something. I can hope around the timeframe of seeing Reece. I hope that I see Reece soon. However, it gets even better than hope with God, because I know that someday I will. And every single day that is something that I need to know.